British police spotted the rudimentary device attached to a cash machine in Gatley, Stockport.
The iPod nano was fixed in place above the keypad using duct tape, with its built-in camera used to record the PIN numbers of unsuspecting users. Used /in conjunction with a piece of plastic which prevented bank cards from being ejected from the machine, the thieves would have been enable to withdraw money from victims accounts.
Greater Manchester Police took to Twitter to advise caution when using cash machines in the area. “Reports of an ATM in #Gatley being found with a card reader and mini camera attached to it. Be vigilant when using them.”
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iPod Nano: A blast from the past
Most of you may have forgotten all about the existence of the iPod nano, and the DIY nature of the device seems positively prehistoric compared to the sophisticated nature of modern thievery. Devices are becoming smaller and harder to detect, including one which is so thin it can be housed inside the card slot itself.
Some pieces of hardware can transmit details wirelessly, and others use a built-in mobile phone to send the information by SMS, thus decreasing the chances of the thieves being caught. However the majority of devices still require the thief to retrieve it once it has gathered the valuable data.
Police have derided this latest device as “not the best attempt we have seen.”
The next time you go to a cash machine it would be wise to cover your PIN with your other hand, so that any watching cameras cannot see the keypad. More sophisticated devices which are contained within the machine itself are harder to guard against, and we can only hope that the banks manage to keep up with the rapid development in technology used by thieves.
The latest report from the non-profit European ATM Security Team claims that the risk of card skimming is widespread throughout the continent, and thieves would usually leave their device in place for a 4-5 day stint.